Aamir Khan no more the brand ambassador incredible India?
The government of India has dropped Aamir Khan as the face of the ‘ Incredible India ’ campaign. According to the government, his contract has come to an end. Aamir is a dwarf next to Amitabh Bachchan, the man who replaces him, in terms of stature. This is an upgrade for the Incredible India campaign. But this upgrade wouldn’t have taken place had Aamir not joined the bandwagon which proclaimed India to be intolerant. The government denies this, stating on the record that his replacement has nothing to do with his comments. Two questions come to mind: Firstly, why is the government not openly declaring the reason for his replacement? And secondly, why wasn’t he suspended the day he made these comments?
There is no evidence to suggest that Aamir Khan is part of the cartel of convenience, the self-serving unholy trinity of pseudo secular parties, the mainstream media and so-called intellectuals. For years, the Congress patronized certain media personalities and created a fraudulent intelligentsia that sang their tunes. The tide might have turned among the masses now, but the media and the so-called legitimate intelligentsia remain the same, and sing the same tunes. A debt to their patrons is being serviced by defaming the country’s democratically elected leader, a tea-seller whom the entitled classes are not fond of. Aamir, oblivious to this dirty game, joined the bandwagon and sang tunes of ‘intolerance’ with them. As his colleague from the film industry Paresh Rawal says, “This was a circus, these were designer sentiments.” In other words, during that entire award-wapsi phase right before the Bihar elections, it was à la mode to scream intolerance.
Does Aamir have the credibility to represent Incredible India, ANYMORE?
Does Aamir Khan even know what intolerance is? Is he aware of the Muslim world’s archaic and chauvinist ways starting just beyond our borders? Is he aware that one fifth of humanity beyond another one our borders has no political rights? One doesn’t have to go so far. Does he remember the period of emergency right here in India when he was ten or eleven? Not to belittle a tragedy but this isn’t said enough: if you can find only three or four people who lost their lives due to intolerance in a country of more than one thousand three hundred million people, aren’t we a highly tolerant society? Truth be told, Aamir didn’t know what he was talking about.
People want to talk about important issues of the day, and sometimes hold an opinion that is à la mode to sound knowledgeable and very much part of the mainstream. This is often despite their ignorance about the issue or their inability to understand it fully. Should an eminent personality like Aamir Khan indulge in this practice? He should if he wants to. Being the citizen of a tolerant country like India he has the freedom to express himself however he deems fit, and rightly so. Should he speak about a non-existent intolerance that is supposedly being spearheaded by the current establishment, as one of the country’s senior ministers sits next to him and quietly listens to his factual inaccuracies? It would be rather foolish to do so if there really exists an ‘atmosphere of intolerance’, but if he thinks it’s okay, he should.
And what should the government of India do? This is the man who represents us, our incredible India, the face that beckons people from around the world to come to India, so that they might experience what the country has to offer and the same time loosen their purse strings. What does the government do if this person publicly proclaims that India is an intolerant country? The logical first step would be to fire him with immediate effect for this highly unprofessional conduct! And if the government is tolerant and wants to keep him till his contract expires, the least it can do is not to come up with an apologetic statement when his time is up. Tell us unflinchingly, “Despite being our brand ambassador, Aamir Khan has brought much disrepute to our brand. As his contract comes to an end, we have decided to discontinue his services and have him replaced.” Just what is the government trying to prove by being so mellow? Is it simply trying to avoid the usual ‘politics of vendetta’ jibe? Of course this is vendetta, but it is in national interest.
It would have also been in national interest to revoke the awards of all national awardees who threatened to return their awards before they could actually do so. The less the opportunity for these parasites to insult the country, the better. Aamir Khan, who was part of several movies and social initiatives which brought about awareness of different kinds, is no parasite. He has different views, and his right to have them must be respected even if his views are not. But replacing him was the professional thing for our government to do. By hook or by crook, this has been achieved.